CLARK COUNTY, IL. (ECWd) –
When I was first informed of this, I initially thought there was no way any public body would even think of this. This board is turning into a freak-show. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if you could silence your critics? (said no freedom loving American…ever)
At their April 21, 2016 meeting, the Clark County Park District, at the urging of Park Commissioners Ron Stone, Terry Stepp, Glen Kuehnel, and Joe Ewing, directed the Park District attorney, Lorna Geiler, of Meyer-Capel out of Champaign, Illinois, to “investigate Lisa” – the FOIA requester…because they don’t like what she writes about them…
The evil FOIA requester has recently been requesting public records through the Freedom of Information Act from the district, and has taken information gleaned from those public records, writing opinion pieces about those public records, and posting those opinions on the evil internets for all peoples to read.
The district “claims” they have spent over $20,000.00 in legal fees – however, please keep in mind that FOIA requests do not require an attorney to supervise, and if the FOIA law had been followed properly, there would have been no reason for Lisa to take them to court to get access to public records. So, in our opinion, the legal fees are of their own making.
The district “claims” they have produced more than 10,000 pages of documents in response to FOIA requests from Lisa – we have asked for proof of that claim and doubt the district can provide any substantial proof.
The district “claims” the director has spent $10,000.00 in time responding to FOIA requests – we have asked for proof of that statement also, and doubt substantial proof can be provided.
There are other wild claims and accusations coming out of last night’s meeting, and we will respond when the videos finish uploading, with a detailed response.
“Authorizing the Investigation”
- What public purpose does it serve to investigate a FOIA requester and blogger because you believe she is bullying, harassing, and defaming the Park District Director? Wouldn’t that be a private matter, as opposed to a public matter?
- Where in the law does it give authorization for a park district to investigate someone for exercising her First Amendment Right?
- Where in the law does it give authorization for a park district to investigate someone for using the Freedom of Information Act?
- How does the district keep any personal claims separate from government claims – including funds expended to investigate the legality of those alleged claims – because we all know public funds cannot be used to advance a personal civil suit should it go that route?
– Have Commissioners Ron Stone, Terry Stepp, Glen Kuehnel, and Joe Ewing, with the assistance and guidance of their attorney, violated the Illinois Criminal Code, Intimidation (definition changed in 2011)?
(a) A person commits intimidation when, with intent to cause another to perform or to omit the performance of any act, he or she communicates to another, directly or indirectly by any means, a threat to perform without lawful authority any of the following acts:
(6) Take action as a public official against anyone or anything, or withhold official action, or cause such action or withholding; or
Intimidation is a Class 3 felony for which an offender may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years.
Surely, in our opinion, criminal intimidation has already occurred by the action(s) already taken by these public officials (in a public meting) against Lisa – by [threatening to] investigate her for simply submitting FOIA requests for public records, developing an opinion on those public records, and exercising her First Amendment right to publish her opinions – with the express stated intent (it is on the video) to cause her to omit the performance of her constitutional rights.
More information to follow…
Please consider a donation to the Edgar County Watchdogs.